Manager of The North West Fund for Biomedical, SPARK Impact, today announced it has teamed up with Liverpool Science Park (LSP) to launch an eight desk office dedicated to start-up businesses in the biomedical sector.SPARK Impact moved to LSP in January 2011 and has, on behalf of The North West Fund for Biomedical, so far made 20 investments in innovative Biomedical companies looking for investment to get their products and services to market.
The North West Fund for Biomedical is a sub-fund of The North West Fund, a substantial pot of money jointly financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank and available to support small and medium sized businesses in the North West of England to start, develop and grow.
At least 40 per cent of the £25m North West Fund for Biomedical will be invested in Merseyside, making LSP’s central location and growing presence within the life sciences sector the ideal choice for investee companies.
Following demand from investees for dedicated, shared office space, LSP’s biomedical office is the latest in a series of moves by the park to position itself as a hotbed for technology start-ups based in Merseyside. The office, situated on the third floor of innovation centre 1 (ic1), already has three companies signed up - urology device business, Albert Medical Devices (AMD), nasogastric feeding tube device company, Westco Medical Holdings Limited, and telemedical company, Med ePad. All three have recently received Pathfinder and follow-on investments from The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact and the move to the biomedical cluster office means they will be in close proximity to expertise at SPARK as well as taking advantage of LSP’s location in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter.
The biomedical cluster office offers tenants shared office space, a private meeting room and car parking at LSP as well as providing the tenants with printing facilities, lockable storage space and serviced internet access.A further five companies have expressed strong interest in locating in the biomedical cluster office when their current funding rounds complete.
Dr Penny Attridge, senior investment director at SPARK Impact said: “We have invested in a range of companies with strong potential. Our latest idea for the biomedical cluster office is something SPARK Impact felt would be of great benefit to both the investee companies and Liverpool Science Park. Giving our investee companies the opportunity to benefit from inexpensive office space in a supportive environment, close to our fund managers, places them in an excellent position to grow their businesses.”
Chris Musson, chief executive of LSP said: “The park is already home to an array of knowledge-based companies from a huge variety of sectors and we are delighted to team up with SPARK Impact to launch the dedicated biomedical cluster office. Companies such as Med ePad, Westco and AMD complement the cluster of life science businesses that are putting down roots at LSP, including university spin-out, Incanthera as well as Evgen, both located in ic2. Being near to one another, these companies can interact with each other and like-minded tenants from other sectors as well as take advantage of the park’s proximity to top class universities and research and development facilities.”
The life sciences sector is already a major contributor to Liverpool’s economy, employing over 4,000 people and generating turnover of around £250m a year.